Shooting Fish In A Barrel – OR – DIY Harvesting Rain Water

Painter Rain Barrel

Painter Rain Barrel

Over 60 percent of the United States has suffered from drought conditions for the past 2 years. NOAA and the National Weather Service said “2013 does not look for much improvement in these dry weather events”.
Harvesting rain water very well may mean the difference in having a viable productive vegetable garden or having to abandon your garden to the drought.

Tip:Volume of a round storage tank = 3.1415 x R² x H x 7.47 = Volume In Gallons
Where R is the tank radius in feet squared (radius X radius) and H is the tank height in feet
Volume of a round tank calculator

Collecting rain water is easy, saves you many dollars off your house hold water bill and is better for your plants than chlorinated tap water. An inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof produces about 600 gallons of runoff rain water. Food grade 50-55 gallon barrels sell from $5.00 to $10.00 larger 275-300 gallon plastic tote containers commonly sell for about $75.00.

Two or maybe three 55 gallon barrels is all most gardeners need to water a patio container garden or even 1 or 2 small raised bed vegetable plots. It is useful for your containers to be raised off the ground at least 16 inches. This allows for easy filling of your sprinkler water can, or
attachment of a garden water hose or a gravity fed drip watering system. Grin … Water will not run up hill! Your collection barrel(s) must be higher than your raised bed or patio pots to work by gravity flow from a water hose.

Water collection barrels are typically fitted with a spigot at its base to fill a watering can or attach a soaker hose (which bleeds out water all along its length, providing effortless drip irrigation), and a filter or screen at its top to prevent a buildup of leaves and other debris and to prevent insects from entering your water collection barrel(s). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a single 100 gallon rain barrel can save up to 1,300 gallons of tap water during the high demand summer months.

If your collection barrel(s) are clear allowing sun light into your barrel, I recommend painting your collection barrel(s). Algae can not grow or reproduce in total darkness, keeping your water barrels algae free. Colored plastic barrels do not need to be painted, but, a nice paint job will allow them to blend into your landscape.

DIY Installing Your Drip Irrigation System A useful how to do it crash course in installing a drip irrigation system.

Rain Water Collecting and Recycling A Town and Country Gardening, Posted on August 17, 2009.

The Drip Store Is a internet mail order store that stocks all the parts you will need to assemble your drip irrigation system. Disclaimer: This link is provided for your convenience. I have had good service and found their products to as advertised. However, before sending money to this or any other internet mail order store, Check them out Before you purchase any products from that store.

Capturing Water from your Roof for Gardening! By: Transition Town Payson, AZ

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16 responses to “Shooting Fish In A Barrel – OR – DIY Harvesting Rain Water

  1. thatoldschoolgirl

    don’t forget in some States is it actually illegal to collect rain water 😦

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    • Re: thatoldschoolgirl – That’s correct. I think Colorado is one of those states.
      I have read where citizens have filed law suits against city and state agencies for damages caused by heavy rains and flooding. In short the suits claim that if rain water is a city/state asset, the owners of those assets are responsible for any damaged caused. Those suits are now making their way through the states legal system.

      Happy Gardening

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      • thatoldschoolgirl

        (www.infowars.com/man-jailed-for-collecting-rainwater-begins-sentence/)
        one gentleman in Oregon went to jail for it

        this link has a list of the States that has collecting rainwater laws
        (www.infowars.com/collecting-rainwater-now-illegal-in-many-states-as-big-government-claims-ownership-over-our-water/)

        Like

  2. Your post has come along at just the right time. I have been thinking of adding a rainwater barrel to our garden and wondering how to do it. Perfect timing. If you hadn’t of visited me I wouldn’t have found you this soon. The idea of painting it is wonderful. Love it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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  3. we have numerous water barrels, even for the stock but I have never thought of painting them so delightfully. i really really hope we do not get another drought this year.. that would be just mean.. lovely to have found your blog! c

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    • Re: cecilia – Thanks for taking time to visit my little blog.
      For what’s worth, I have had good luck treating bottle calf scours with large doses of Pepto-Bismol and to help rehydrate them I have had good success using powered Gaiter Aid in addition to the normal milk feeding.
      Good luck and happy spring gardening

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  4. Thanks for the info! I was going to add one rain barrel, now I think I’ll add three.

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  5. I need to buy a barrel – my water is currently in plastic bottles. Clear plastic bottles at that. But I think my daughter and I could have fun painting a real barrel. The one you have shown us looks very attractive!

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    • Re: silverbells2012 – Grin ….. Don’t tell anyone, but I cant take credit forthe painted water barrel. I stole that picture off a bing search. My barrels are just ugly blue plastic setting on the south side of my storage shed.

      Be happy, it’s almost spring time..

      Like

  6. Like the colors on your barrel. Ours is plain old garbage can for now. We also need to figure how to do a better job of the feast or famine part of capturing. I guess that will be one of my “projects” for the summer.

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    • Re: lucindalines – I got (from my local news paper) a container they call a tote, It holds about 300 gallons, is mounted inside a steel cage sort of thing. Got it for $50.00 it was a soap container. I will set it on four 8×16 inch concrete building blocks, spray paint it John Deer green.
      Happy almost spring time gardening

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  7. Thanks for sharing! Really good information! We have always wanted to do this.

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  8. We had the opposite problem over here in the UK, too much rain. Last year’s crops were a washout, a lot of farmers had sodden fields that wouldn’t grow as normal. In spite of that we still collect our rainwater, just in case!!

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  9. Great post, I have always wanted to do this…

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  10. I knew of a fellow who collected rainwater from his roof for using as his potable water (it was better than the local small-town water), The only problem was that he had a cedar shake roof and over time he suffered some serious health problems from drinking that water. So we have to be careful of that kind of thing. I’m sure the manual about harvesting rainwater must deal with that kind of issue. Also, collecting rainwater is not meant to be drinking water necessarily, right? Nice for watering your garden, or rinsing your hair if you have hard water.

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    • Re:wordsfromanneli I think that I would only consider it to be potable water if it came off of a metal roof, with gutter covers and then only after boiling. Maybe it would be OK for cooking.. Grin .. I know what birds and such do while setting on my roof.
      But for use as garden water I see no problems no matter what kind of roof it runs off of.

      happy spring gardening

      Like

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